After losing her ‘healthy’ sister to Coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic, Sarah Jarvis, has described the death of her sister Caroline Saunby, as an ‘unbearable heartbreak’.
This is even as she called on the public to take social distancing measures seriously.
Saunby, 48, died at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough on March 29, after testing positive for Covid-19.
She is said to have had no underlying health conditions.
Caroline, from New Marske, North Yorkshire, is survived by her twin boys Joseph and Elliot, aged six, husband Vic, parents Megan and Colin and four siblings, including twin sister Sarah Jarvis.
Sarah Jarvis said the family has been left devastated by Caroline’s death and to make matters worse, they can not even console one another due to isolation rules.
Paying tribute to her twin, Sarah described Caroline as a ‘friend to hundreds and the most genuine and generous person in the world.’
She said: “We have always been an extremely close family, so much so that most of us live on the same estate just a few minutes walk from one another.
“It is so painful to know that Vic has lost the love of his life, the boys have lost their mother, and our parents have lost a child and we can’t even be together to console one another.
“We can’t even have a funeral to celebrate her life right now – we aren’t privileged to that closure which is horrible.”
Caroline, who her sister described as a ‘germophobe and obsessive hand-washer’ began showing symptoms of the virus on Thursday, including a sore throat which she thought was tonsillitis.
The following day she had developed symptoms of sickness, and on Sunday she had difficulty breathing, before collapsing at home.
An ambulance and an air ambulance were sent and Mrs Saunby was put on a ventilator at home before being rushed to hospital where she passed away.
Sarah praised the efforts of the ‘incredible’ paramedics and NHS staff who treated her twin, adding ‘we are forever grateful for all their efforts.’
To make matters worse, some family members learned of Caroline’s condition from a video widely shared on social media.
A passerby driving down Caroline’s street recorded Sarah and other family members experiencing ‘the worst moment of their life’, watching the mother being taken into an ambulance.
“Family members found out about the situation from this video before we had a chance to tell them,’ said Sarah. It’s only added to our grief and trauma.
“I’m begging people to not put anyone else through what we have had to endure on top of losing Caroline. Please think about how you would feel if it were your loved one.’’
Since Caroline’s death, Sarah has been urging the public to take COVID-19 seriously and said she still has no idea where her twin caught the virus.
“Caroline took every precaution under the sun,” said Sarah.
“She was practising social distancing, she was washing her hands, took hers and everyone’s safety seriously, was healthy – yet she was taken from us in only four days.
“This virus does not discriminate. People believe that because they are young and healthy they aren’t at risk but are the reality of how coronavirus can change anyone’s life.’